Awareness • Early Detection • Treatment • Research • Survivorship

A Survivor At Every Stadium: Minnesota Vikings

Minneapolis, MN. Mayo Clinic lung cancer survivor-advocate Shelly Engfer-Triebenbach will represent Team Draft at the Vikings game on Sunday. Shelly and her family will watch their Minnesota Vikings take on the visiting Kansas City Chiefs at TCF Bank Stadium.

In November 2014, Shelly wrote a letter to the editor of the Echo Press.

To the editor:
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. More people die from lung cancer than all the other cancers combined. Yet, when you look at the funding for research, lung cancer is the least funded of all cancers. Why is the most deadliest type of cancer the least funded?

For far too many years, lung cancer has been associated with smoking. Growing up, I remember hearing about “The Great American Smoke Out” that takes place in November, insinuating that you have to smoke to get lung cancer. That is false. All it takes to get lung cancer is lungs. Yes, lungs. We all have them, we all need them, we are all susceptible to lung cancer.

Sixty percent of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or who are former smokers.

One in 14 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer. That statistic is staggering. Even more staggering is the lack of funding for lung cancer research.

There is a need for early screenings. Does that sound familiar? That is key for all cancers. However, the most deadliest type of cancer, lung cancer, is the furthest behind in research. The majority of lung cancer patients are stage four. This is because there is no standard test for early detection.

I implore you to stop the stigma, raise the awareness and please, financially support the research of this awful disease.
In 2012, we, Team Draft, launched our inaugural Survivor at Every Stadium initiative on CNN during a nationally-televised prime time special focusing on lung cancer and our National Campaign to Change the Face of Lung Cancer.

Leveraging our connections with the NFL and the NCAA, its teams and players and our relationships with many of the top cancer centers in the country, As part of our National Campaign, this celebration of survivorship raises lung cancer awareness, gives hope to those battling the disease, and shines a light on the important work being done at cancer research and treatment centers around the country.

Team Draft’s goals are to create a unique experience for participating survivors and to raise awareness on a local, national, and international level by using each game and each survivor’s story to weave a broader narrative about the state of cancer and the hope that now exists for those battling the disease.

Special thanks to the Linda and Jerry Wortman, Mayo Clinic, Minnesota Vikings, Vikings Coach George Stewart and our Team Draft supporters for helping make this experience possible.

Donate now to Support the National Campaign to Change the Face of Lung Cancer!